(this is more of a stream-of-consciousness entry than it is a well-structured essay, so I apologize if I jump around a lot)
There seems to be an inverse relationship to the natural evolution of a company on a progressing path and the perception of this company by the public.
I think people are funny, what they complain about, what they react to.
There’s two main things that people react very strongly to – change and extremes. People don’t like extremes. You can tell people don’t like extremes (at least in the United States) by the language they use. When someone is extremely involved in an activity or subject the word you most often here is fanatic. We don’t have pious individuals, we have religious fanatics. Billy doesn’t play video games, he’s obsessed with video games.
I notice this negative react to extremes happening to Google now too. There seems to be a point where the helpfulness of Google stops and the creepiness sets in. When Google Maps launched people LOVED it. It blew away MapQuest and people started making all these hybrid sites combining Google Maps technology with their real estate listings or crime locations… it was all great.
Then all of sudden Google added street level images in a few major cities. You could now literally ‘walk’ down the street, turn around, look at buildings, and zoom in to get a closer look.
No no no. Now people are creeped out. Now it’s too much.
The same thing is happening for everything else Google is doing. There has emerged an entire Google Economy that relies on Adsense and AdWords for the stability of their businesses. There’s been a few times over the years that Google has ‘tweaked’ their algorithms and this has caused entire industries to lose traffic and revenue.
Because of this Google Economy, they now has thousands of server farms all over the planet and are continued to build more every day, to be able to handle the massive amount of traffic they get. Hundreds or thousands of servers break down each day like cells in the body and new ones are put into place and the whole engine doesn’t skip a beat.
Google now has Docs, Gmail, Analytics and is releasing more products every day. Their success is allowing (forcing?) them to grow and get better, and with that now some people are getting scared… privacy groups are raising concerns…
Is Google supposed to stay in a holding pattern and not grow? Can they still grow and not be perceived as too big, controlling too much information? Is there a difference between Google being smart and Google being too smart?
And if Google is too smart, what should be done about it?